Sentul district police chief S Shanmugamoorthy Chinniah confirmed that he advised the organiser of the Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant (Macip) 2019 to drop the swimsuit segment.
However, he said this was not a directive.
“I only advised that the swimsuit agenda be dropped. This was conveyed to the organiser by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
“I did not state 'cancel'. That is not under my jurisdiction. I can confirm that after evaluating the matter, I found that the agenda (on the swimsuit) was there. I advised removing it,” he told Malaysiakini today.
Shanmugamoorthy said his advice was not binding and it was up to the organiser whether to heed it or otherwise.
“But they followed (the advice) and changed the style. Don't make it an issue,” he added.
The police officer also denied that his stand was related to the controversy surrounding the semi-nude models at the Malaysia Tattoo Expo 2019.
He said the two events should not be compared, explaining that the issue of “sensitivity” varied according to cases.
“We have to look at the situation... we cannot give a blanket approval or say that all these events will be cancelled.
“We have to look at the situation first and make an evaluation. That is why we want the organisers to be honest with us,” Shanmugamoorthy added.
Meanwhile, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng (above) defended DBKL over media reports claiming that it had pulled the plug on the swimsuit round.
The DAP lawmaker said DBKL had approved the pageant and did not impose any conditions with regard to the swimsuits.
Lim also disagreed with Shanmugamoorthy's advice, which he described as “trivial and unnecessary”.
“The Macip TV programme is broadcast in the Chinese language and has been held for over 20 years without any issues before this,” he added.
The Macip event was held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre last Saturday, therefore requiring a permit from DBKL.
All public assembly permits are subjected to police scrutiny.